The main purpose of the study was to identify the levels and determinants of acute malnutrition or wasting in Bangladeshi children. A 2-stage stratified random sampling design was used to collect the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey data during November 1999 to March 2000, in which 5333 living children aged 0 to 59 months and their mothers were weighed and measured to obtain their anthropometric data. The prevalence of wasting was assessed by the z scores approach, using the anthropometric criterion of weight-for-height and following the WHO guidelines and cutoff points. Results reveal that the prevalence of severe and moderate wasting were more common among children, and the overall prevalence of acute malnutrition was about 10%, indicating that it is one of the major public health problems in the country. Multivariate analysis showed that mother's BMI and media exposure, child's age and birth size, and respiratory sickness in childhood were significantly associated with both severe and moderate wasting.